As promised, I am sharing my way to make REAL Herbal Extract!
It is so easy but does take quite a bit of time. You can do this so many ways! Completely frugal, organic, cheap organic... The list goes on. Not matter how you look at it, you are going to save big money and get the product YOU want.
There are tricks to making this a strong extract and not just flavored like vanilla or whatever herb you use, so listen! Read... You know what I mean.
Let's go through how to make basic Vanilla extract.
First buy your vanilla beans. This is what costs the most and rightly so. The better quality vanilla will result in fantastic extracts! I bought my vanilla beans from Vanilla Products USA they are AA beans. I was not disappointed! Plus they sent me some free beans, which was just amazing!
Okay, great, so you ordered your beans. Now you have to get to know your base. I used organic vegetable glycerin (VG food grade, always) this time but the usual is a high alcohol content liquor, like vodka (V). The VG yields a super sweet extract. VG is not going to be as strong as alcohol based extracts, I don't think it matters how long you let it seep. Mine has been going for about 6months, still not quite as strong. My V vanilla is very harsh but also very strong. Now, there are cheaper VG than what I used. Also, just because it says organic, doesn't mean the quality is the same. You want a pretty thick VG.
I liked testing this because now I know! The VG is great for adding to drinks, smoothies, shakes, coffee and tea. Sort of okay for adding to baking but you have to add a touch more and consider the texture differential. That being said it is your organic option, so a few may want to choose VG over V for that reason alone. Plus no alcohol content, which just sweetens the deal! See what I did there? :)
Back to how to make it! Remember, with alcohol based extracts, unless you are baking, the alcohol will be present. Not ideal.
You get your dark, glass bottles filled with the base of your choice (now that you have a better idea of which you may prefer!)! Fillet the vanilla beans! The brown, grit on the inside is what you want to expose! The more exposed those are, the more flavor you are going to have. Don't cut yourself, this isn't as easy as it sounds! The beans are thin, hard and wiggle! So be careful! You may not want to scoop the grit out, that leads to grit in your vanilla extract but give it a try if you want! For other herbs that don't need a fillet, just crush DRIED herbs. Fresh has water which will lead to mold growth in your extracts!
Once your get the beans cut, add the beans to your liquid! Store in a cool, dry place for however long you want! A few weeks to a few months! V will extract the vanilla quicker!
You can even make some herbal infused oils, which will be my one of my next blog how to's! So stay tuned!
Here is the cost breakdown:
Organic VG: 22 oz of organic Vegetable Glycerin= $22, would make little over 10 2oz bottles like I have pictured.
Vanilla beans: 10 Organic AA+ beans= $14, would yield 14 bottles, easy
Store bough organic vanilla (1 bottle, 100ml approx. 3.4 oz): $14
Our cost per bottle: $6 and some change a bottle!!
So, saves so much money and you know where it came from! This doesn't just have to be for vanilla either! Make citrus extract, Rosemary extract... Let your mind go crazy! These are ADORABLE in gift sets for the person in your life who loves to cook or bake! Create things that would otherwise be so hard to find in stores. I love my lavender and my fenugreek extracts for instance which are very expensive!
So have fun and great creative!
As with any new herbal anything, allergy test and ask your doctor before use. Doing research on if an herbal anything is safe.
Love and Flavor everything,
The Smart Girl in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants